Local News

'No Other Place Feels Right to Me': FEMA Trailer Park Residents Go Home

Posted August 24, 2000

— People from Princeville who have spent the last year in Rocky Mount are going back home. Prayers are being answered as a new subdivision of state-owned homes goes up in the Edgecombe County town.

Monica Hopkins is ready to pack her bags and move in to one of the new homes. Her 2-year-old son has stayed with his grandmother since the flood. Hopkins says herFEMA trailer in Rocky Mountis just too small.

"He can't really stay with me, because there's not enough room, really," Hopkins says. "I try not to accumulate a whole lot of junk, because there's really no space for it."

ThestateandFEMAare turning a field on the outskirts of Princeville into a new neighborhood for flood victims. Starting Monday, the first of 63 families can move in.

"I have a few more units to come in. The water and sewer is in. We're waiting for the water test to come back. I'll finish up on the lift station and we should bring people in," says inspector Stephen Sharp.

Because the state still owns the new homes, the new occupants still have to move out by the March deadline, unless they file an extension to stay.

The state says the best-case scenario is that some of the residents eventually buy the new homes, making the neighborhood a permanent part of Princeville's landscape.

For Barbara Pitt, it is her first affordable chance to return to her hometown.

"Most of my family is there. My children are there. My daddy is there, and that's where I grew up, and no other place feels right to me, but there," she says.

A lot of people who live in Princeville work in Tarboro. The commute to work will be about 15 minutes shorter, once they go back home.

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